Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have officially nominated the 1997 film Selena for inclusion in the National Film Registry. Each year, the Library of Congress selects 25 films that are deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”
Nominations from the public are accepted each year. The Library of Congress receives approximately 2,000 nominations annually. This year, Rep. Joaquin Castro, who is the chairman of the Hispanic Caucus, sent a letter to Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, explaining the cultural significance of Selena.
“Given its importance as a work of Latino cinema, we believe [Selena] is deserving of preservation at the Library of Congress,” wrote Castro, according to NBC News. “We trust you will give Selena careful consideration, and hope to see it included in the titles added to the National Film Registry in 2021.”
Of the 800 films in the registry, only a handful of Latino-themed films have been added to the registry since 1989. This includes 1981’s Zoot Suit, 1983’s El Norte, 1988’s Stand and Deliver and 2002’s Real Women Have Curves. Last month, the 1999 documentary Buena Vista Social Club, which follows legendary Cuban musicians as they record an album, was selected for preservation as part of the 2020 class.
Castro referenced the underrepresentation of Latinos in Hollywood as a reason a film like Selena should be added to the registry.
“Latinos have been left out of the representation of American culture by and large,” Castro told NBC. “This is one effort to make sure that Latinos are represented in the telling of American culture and the retelling of American culture, and part of that includes American films.”